In March 2020, Broadway star and Tony Award nominee Nick Cordero was hospitalized for what he and his wife, Amanda Kloots, believed to be a severe case of pneumonia. Entering the hospital, they had every reason to believe that Nick—a young father and otherwise healthy man—would return home. After an eventual diagnosis of COVID-19 that led to Nick’s being placed on a ventilator, Amanda took to documenting their journey on social media, showing the dangers COVID-19 posed to everyone, regardless of age. Her updates quickly captivated millions, inspiring people around the globe to dance each day to Nick’s song “Live Your Life” and offer positive thoughts and prayer. When he passed away after ninety-five grueling days in the ICU, the world grieved for Amanda, her infant son, Elvis, and the future COVID-19 had snatched away from them.
Live Your Life is the story of Nick and Amanda’s life together—of their beautiful relationship, of Nick’s dramatic fight for survival, of those sudden tragic months that permanently changed her world and ours—and of their interrupted future as a family. From the confusing early days of his illness to searching for signs of hope in every update from the doctors to the healing sound of Elvis’s laughter, Amanda details how she approached even the most devastating moments with the personal optimism and faith that have shaped her life. Written with her sister Anna Kloots, who was with her every step of this journey, Live Your Life explores how Amanda’s willingness to accept help from an entire community of people—friends, family, and even total strangers—played a vital role in enduring this hardship. In the process, she offers a touching meditation on how even the worst times have silver linings that deepen our connections to the world around us and to the people who matter most.
What emerges is an inspiring and unexpectedly uplifting message for life in the time of COVID, a vision of courage for anyone coping with overwhelming loss or the collective trauma of what the pandemic has taken from us. A poignant reflection on love, hope, motherhood, and the transformational power of music, Live Your Life is a love letter to Nick and a reminder that, sometimes, celebrating life today is the only path through tomorrow’s darkness.